Outubro 2009


Excerto de um filme/documentário de Augusto Cabrita (1923-1993) intitulado “Macau”.. uma curta metragem filmada em 16 mm.

Macau na viragem do século 19 para o século 20… eis um retrato de Macau feito pelo capitão Gordon Casserly do Exército indiano. O capítulo X foi dedicado a Macau.
In the portuguese colony of Macao – pages 231-255

Forty miles from Hong Kong, hidden away among the countless islands that fringe the entrance to the estuary of the Chukiang or Pearl River, lies the Portuguese settlement of Macao. Once flourishing and prosperous, the centre of European trade with Southern China, it is now decaying and almost unknown — killed by the com- petition of its young and successful rival. Long before Elizabeth ascended the throne of England the venturesome Portuguese sailors and merchants had reached the Far East. There they carried their country’s flag over seas where now it never flies. An occasional gunboat represents in Chinese waters their once powerful and far-roaming navy. In the island of Lampacao, off the south-eastern coast, their traders were settled, pushing their com- merce with the mainland. In 1557 the neigh- bouring peninsula of Macao was ceded to them in token of the Chinese Emperor’s gratitude for their aid in destroying the power of a pirate chief who had long held sway in the seas around. The Dutch, the envious rivals of the Portuguese in the East, turned covetous eyes on the little colony which speedily began to flourish. In 1622 the troops in Macao were despatched to assist the Chinese against the Tartars. Taking advantage of their absence, the Governor of the Dutch East Indies fitted out a fleet to capture their city. In the June of that year the hostile ships appeared off Macao and landed a force to storm the fort The valiant citizens fell upon and defeated the invaders ; and the Dutch sailed away baffled. Until the early part of the nineteenth century the Portuguese paid an annual tribute of five hundred taels to the Chinese Government in acknowledgment of their nominal suzerainty. In 1848, the then Governor, Ferreira Amaral, refused to continue this payment and expelled the Chinese officials from the colony. In 1887, the independence of Macao was formally admitted by the Emperor in a treaty to that effect. But the palmy days of its commerce died with the birth of Hong Kong. The importance of the Portuguese settlement has dwindled away. Macao is but a relic of the past. Its harbour is empty. The sea around has silted up with the detritus from the Pearl River until now no large vessels can approach. A small trade in tea, tobacco, opium, and silk is all that is left. The chief revenue is derived from the taxes levied on the numerous Chinese gambling-houses in the city, which have gained for it the title of the Monte Carlo of the East. Macao is situated on a small peninsula connected by a long, narrow causeway with the island of Heung Shan. The town faces southward and, sheltered by another island from the boisterous gales of the China seas, is yet cooled by the re- freshing breezes of the south, from which quarter the wind blows most of the year in that latitude. Victoria in our colony, on the other hand, is cut off from them by the high Peak towering above it; and its climate in consequence is hot and steamy in the long and unpleasant summer. So Macao is, then, a favourite resort of the citizens of Hong Kong. The large, flat-bottomed steamer that runs between the two places is generally crowded on Saturdays with inhabitants of the British colony, going to spend the week-end on the cooler rival island. The commercial competition of Macao is no longer to be dreaded. But this decaying Portu- guese possession has recently acquired a certain importance in the eyes of the Hong Kong author- ities and our statesmen in England by the fears of French aggression aroused by apparent en- deavours to gain a footing in Macao. Attempts have been made to purchase property in it in the name of the French Government which are sus- pected to be the thin end of the wedge. Although the colony is not dangerous in the hands of its present possessors, it might become so in the power of more enterprising neighbours. Were it occu- pied by the French a much larger garrison would be required in Hong Kong. Of course, any attempt to invade our colony from Macao would be difficult ; as the transports could not be convoyed by any large warships owing to the shallowness of the sea between the two places until Hong Kong harbour is reached. One battleship or cruiser, even without the assistance of the forts, should suffice to blow out of the water any vessels of sufficiently light draught to come out of the port of Macao. If any specially constructed, powerfully armed, shallow-draught men-o*-war — which alone would be serviceable — were sent out from Europe, their arrival would be noted and their purpose suspected. Still an opportunity might be seized when our China squadron was elsewhere engaged and the garrison of Hong Kong denuded. On the whole, the Portuguese are preferable neighbours to the aggressive French colonial party, which is con- stantly seeking to extend its influence in Southern China. In 1802 and again in 1808 Macao was occupied by us as a precaution against its seizure by the French. When garrison duty in Hong Kong during the damp, hot days of the summer palled, I once took ten days’ leave to the pleasanter climate of Macao. I embarked in Victoria in one of the large, shallow- draught steamers of the Hong Kong, Canton, and Macao Steamboat Company, which keeps up the communication between the English and Portuguese colonies and the important Chinese city by a fleet of some half-dozen vessels. With the exception of one, they are all large and roomy craft from 2,000 to 3,000 tons burden. They run to, and return from. Canton twice daily on week-days. One starts from Hong Kong to Macao every afternoon and returns the following morning, except on Sundays. Between Macao and Canton they ply three times a week. The fares are not exorbitant — from Hong Kong to Macao three dollars, to Canton five, each way ; between Macao and Canton three. The Hong Kong dollar in 1901 was worth about IS. lod. The steamer on which I made the short passage to Macao was the Heungshan (1,998 tons). She was a large shallow-draught vessel, painted white for the sake of coolness. She was mastless, with one high funnel, painted black ; the upper deck was roomy and almost unobstructed. The sides between it and the middle deck were open; and a wide promenade lay all round the outer bulkheads of the cabins on the latter. Extending from amid- ships to near the bows were the first-class state- rooms and a spacious, white – and – gold – panelled saloon. For ard of this the deck was open. Shaded by the upper deck overhead, this formed a delight- ful spot to laze in long chairs and gaze over the placid water of the land-locked sea at the ever- changing scenery. Aft on the same deck was the second-class accommodation. Between the outer row of cabins round the sides a large open space was left.
O vapor SS Heungshan de quase 2 mil toneladas entrando no Porto de Macau
This was crowded with fat and prosperous- looking Chinamen, lolling on chairs or mats, smoking long-stemmed pipes with tiny bowls and surrounded by piles of luggage. Below, on the lower deck, were herded the third- class passengers, all Chinese coolies. The com- panion-ways leading up to the main deck were closed by padlocked iron gratings. At the head of each stood an armed sentry, a half-caste or Chinese quartermaster in bluejacket-like uniform and naval straw hat He was equipped with carbine and revolver ; and close by him was a rack of rifles and cutlasses. All the steamers plying between Hong Kong, Macao, and Canton are similarly guarded; for the pirates who infest the Pearl River and the net- work of creeks near its mouth have been known to embark on them as innocent coolies and then suddenly rise, overpower the crew and seize the ship. For these vessels, besides conveying specie and cargo, have generally a number of wealthy Chinese passengers aboard, who frequently carry large sums of money with them. The Heungshan cast off from the crowded, bustling wharf and threaded her way out of Hong Kong harbour between the numerous merchant ships lying at anchor. In between Lantau and the mainland we steamed over the placid water of what seemed an inland lake. The shallow sea is here so covered with islands that it is generally as smooth as a mill-pond. Past stately moving junks and fussy little steam launches we held our way. Islands and mainland rising in green hills from the waters edge hemmed in the narrow channel. In about two and a half hours we sighted Macao. We saw ahead of us a low eminence covered with the buildings of a European-looking town. Behind it rose a range of bleak mountains. We passed along by a gently curving bay lined with houses and fringed with trees, rounded a cape, and entered the natural harbour which lies between low hills. It was crowded with junks and sampans. In the middle lay a trim Portuguese gunboat, the Zaire, three-masted, with white superstructure and funnel and black hull. The small Canton- Macao steamer was moored to the wharf. The quay was lined with Chinese houses, two- or three – storied, with arched verandahs. The Heungshan ran alongside, the hawsers were made fast, and gangways run ashore. The Chinese pas- sengers, carrying their baggage, trooped on to the wharf. One of them in his hurry knocked roughly against a Portuguese Customs officer who caught him by the pigtail and boxed his ears in reward for his awkwardness. It was a refreshing sight after the pampered and petted way in which the Chinaman is treated by the authorities in Hong Kong. There the lowest coolie can be as im- pertinent as he likes to Europeans, for he knows that the white man who ventures to chastise him for his insolence will be promptly summoned to appear before a magistrate and fined. Our treat- ment of the subject races throughout our Empire errs chiefly in its lack of common justice to the European. Seated in a ricksha, pulled and pushed by two coolies up steep streets, I was finally deposited at the door of the Boa Vista Hotel. This excellent hostelry — which the French endeavoured to secure for a naval hospital, and which has since been purchased by the Portuguese Government — was picturesquely situated on a low hill overlooking the town. The ground on one side fell sharply down to the sea which lapped the rugged rocks and sandy beach two or three hundred feet below. On the other, from the foot of the hill, a pretty bay with a tree-shaded esplanade — called the Praia Grande — ^stretched away to a high cape about a mile distant. The bay was bordered by a line of houses, prominent among which was the Governor s Palace. Behind them the city, built on rising ground, rose in terraces. The buildings were all of the Southern European type, with tiled roofs, Venetian-shuttered windows, and walls painted pink, white, blue, or yellow. Away in the heart of the town the gaunt, shattered fagade of a ruined church stood on a slight eminence. Here and there small hills crowned with the crumbling walls of ancient forts rose up around the city. Eager for a closer acquaintance with Macao, I drove out that afternoon in a ricksha. I was whirled first along the Praia Grande, which runs around the curving bay below the hotel. On the right-hand side lay a strongly built sea-wall. On the tree-shaded promenade between it and the road- way groups of the inhabitants of the city were enjoying the cool evening breeze. Sturdy little Portuguese soldiers in dark-blue uniforms and k^pis strolled along in two and threes, ogling the yellow or dark-featured Macaese ladies, a few of whom wore mantillas. Half-caste youths, resplendent in loud check suits and immaculate collars and cuffs, sat on the sea-wall or, airily puflfing their cheap cigarettes, sauntered along the promenade with languid grace. Grave citizens walked with their families, the prettier portion of whom affected to be demurely unconscious of the admiring looks of the aforesaid dandies. A couple of priests in shovel hats and long, black cassocks moved along in the throng. The left side of the Praia was lined with houses, among which were some fine buildings, including the Government, Post and Telegraph Bureaus, commercial offices, private residences, and a large mansion, with two projecting wings, the Governor s Palace. At the entrance stood a sentry, while the rest of the guard lounged near the doorway. At the end of the Praia Grande were the pretty public gardens, shaded by banyan trees, with flower-beds, a bandstand, and a large building beyond it — the Military Club. Past the gate of the Gardens the road turned away from the sea and ran between rows of Chinese houses until it reached the long, tree-bordered Estrada da Flora. On the left lay cultivated land. On the right the ground sloped gently back to a bluff hill, on which stood a light- house, the oldest in China. At the foot of this eminence lay the pretty summer residence of the Governor, picturesquely named Flora, surrounded by gardens and fenced in by a granite wall. Con- tinuing under the name of Estrada da Bella Vista, the road ran on to the sea and turned to the left around a flower -bordered, terraced green mound, at the summit of which was a look-out whence a charming view was obtained. From this the mound derives the name of Bella Vista. In front lay a shallow bay. To the left the shore curved round to a long, low, sandy causeway, which connects Macao with the island of Heung Shan. Midway on this stood a masonry gateway, Porta Cerco, which marks the boundary between Portuguese and Chinese territory. Hemmed in by a sea-wall, the road continued from Bella. Vista along above the beach, past the isthmus, on which was a branch road leading to the Porta, by a stretch of cultivated ground, and round the peninsula, until it reached the city again. After dinner that evening, accompanied by a friend staying at the same hotel, I strolled down to the Public Gardens, where the police band was playing and the ** beauty and fashion” of Macao assembled. They were crowded with gay pro- menaders. Trim Portuguese naval or military officers, brightly dressed ladies, soldiers, civilians, priests and laity strolled up and down the walks or sat on the benches. Sallow-complexioned children chased each other round the flower-beds. Opposite the bandstand stood a line of chairs reserved for the Governor and his party. We met some ac- quaintances among the few British residents in the colony ; and one of them, being an honorary member of the Military Club situated at one end of the Gardens, invited us into it. We sat at one of the little tables on the terrace, where the ^lite of Macao drank their coffee and liqueurs, and watched the gay groups promenading below. The scene was animated and interesting, thoroughly typical of the way in which Continental nations enjoy outdoor life, as the English never can. Hong Kong, with all its wealth and large European population, has no similar social gathering-place ; and its citizens wrap themselves in truly British unneighbourly isolation. The government of Macao is administered from Portugal. The Governor is appointed from Europe; and the local Senate is vested solely with the muni- cipal administration of the colony. The garrison consists of Portuguese artillerymen to man the forts and a regiment of Infantry of the Line, relieved regularly from Europe. There is also a battalion of police, supplemented by Indian and Chinese constables — the former recruited among the natives of the Portuguese territory of Goa on the Bombay coast, though many of the sepoys hail from British India. A gunboat is generally stationed in the harbour. The troubles all over China in 1900 had a disturbing influence even in this isolated Portu- guese colony. An attack from Canton was feared in Macao as well as in Hong Kong; and the utmost vigilance was observed by the garrison. One night heavy firing was heard from the direction of the Porta Cerco, the barrier on the isthmus. It was thought that the Chinese were at last descending on the settlement. The alarm sounded and the troops were called out. Sailors were landed from the Zaire with machine-guns. A British resident in Macao told me that so prompt were the garrison in turning out that in twenty minutes all were at their posts and every position for defence occupied. At each street-corner stood a strong guard ; and machine-guns were placed so as to prevent any attempt on the part of the Chinese in the city to aid their fellow-countrymen outside. However, it was found that the alarm was occasioned by the villagers who lived just outside the boundary, firing on the guards at the barrier in revenge for the con- tinual insults to which their women, when passing in and out to market in Macao, were subjected by the Portuguese soldiers at the gate. No attack followed and the incident had no further conse- quences. At the close of 1901 or the beginning of 1902, more serious alarm was caused by the con- duct of the regiment recently arrived from Portugal in relief Dissatisfied with their pay or at service in the East, the men mutinied and threatened to seize the town. The situation was difficult, as they formed the major portion of the garrison. Eventu- ally, however, the artillerymen, the police battalion, and the sailors from the Zaire succeeded in over- awing and disarming them. The ringleaders were seized and punished, and that incident closed. The European-born Portuguese in the colony are few and consist chiefly of the Government officials and their families and the troops. They look down upon the Macaese — as the colonials are called — with the supreme contempt of the pure-blooded white man for the half-caste. For, judging from their complexions and features, few of the Macaese are of unmixed descent. So the Portuguese from Europe keep rigidly aloof from them and unbend only to the few British and Americans resident in the colony. These are warmly welcomed in Macao society and freely admitted into the exclusive official circles. On the day following my arrival, I went in uniform to call upon the Governor in the palace on the Praia Grande. Accompanied by a friend, I rickshaed from the hotel to the gate of the court- yard. The guard at the entrance saluted as we approached ; and I endeavoured to explain the reason of our coming to the sergeant in command. English and French were both beyond his under- standing ; but he called to his assistance a function- ary, clad in gorgeous livery, who succeeded in grasping the fact that we wished to see the aide-de- camp to the Governor. He ushered us into a waiting-room opening off the spacious hall. In a few minutes a smart, good-looking officer in white duck uniform entered. He was the aide-de-camp, Senhor Carvalhaes. Speaking in fluent French, he informed us that the Governor was not in the palace but would probably soon return, and invited us to wait. He chatted pleasantly with us, gave us much interesting information about Macao, and proffered his services to make our stay in Portu- guese territory as enjoyable as he could. We soon became on very friendly terms and he accepted an invitation to dine with us at the hotel that night. The sound of the guard turning out and presenting arms told us that the Governor had returned. Senhor Carvalhaes, praying us to excuse him, went out to inform his Excellency of our presence. In a few minutes the Governor entered and courteously welcomed us to Macao. He spoke English ex- tremely well ; although he had only begun to learn it since he came to the colony not very long before. After a very pleasant and friendly interview with him we took our departure, escorted to the door by the aide-de-camp. On the following day I paid some calls on the British and American residents and then went down to the English tennis-ground, which is situated close to Bella Vista. Here, in the afternoons, the little colony of aliens in Macao generally assemble. The consuls and their wives and families, with a few missionaries and an occasional merchant, make up their number. Close by the tennis-courts, in a high- walled enclosure shaded by giant banyans, lies the English cemetery. That night a civilian from Hong Kong, Mr. Ivan Grant-Smith, and I had an unpleasant adventure which illustrates the scant respect with which the aegis pf British power is regarded abroad. We are prone to flatter ourselves that the world stands in awe of our Empire’s might, that the magic words, ** I am an English citizen ! ” will bear us scatheless through any danger. The following instance — by no means an isolated one — of how British subjects are often treated by the meanest officials of other States may be instructive. We had dined that evening at the house of one of the English residents in Macao. The dinner, which was to celebrate the birthday of his son, was followed by a dance ; so that it was after one o’clock in the morning before we left to walk back to the hotel, about a mile away. Leaving the main streets, we tried a short cut along a lonely road hemmed in by high garden walls. The ground on one side sloped up, so that the level of the enclosures was but little below the top of the wall fronting the road. As we passed one garden some dogs inside it, roused by our voices, climbed on the wall and began to bark persistently at us. In the vain hope of silencing* them, Grant-Smith threw a few stones at the noisy animals. They barked all the more furiously. A small gate in the wall a little distance farther on suddenly opened and a half-dressed Portuguese appeared. I had happened to stop to light a cigar, and my companion had gone on ahead. The new- comer on the scene rushed at him and poured forth a torrent of what was evidently abuse. My friend very pacifically endeavoured to explain by gestures what had happened ; but the Portuguese, becoming still more enraged, shouted for the police patrol and blew a whistle loudly. An Indian constable ran up. The infuriated citizen spoke to him in Portuguese and then returned inside his garden, closing the gate. The sepoy seized Mr. Grant-Smith by the shoulder. I asked him in Hindustani what my friend had done. The constable replied that he did not know. I said, “Then why do you arrest the sahib?” ” Because that man ” — pointing to the garden — “told me to do so.” ” Who is he ? ” I demanded, naturally concluding that we must have disturbed the slumbers of some official whom the sepoy recognised. To my astonishment he replied — ” I do not know, sahib. I never saw him before.” As Grant-Smith was ignorant of Hindustani and the Indian of English, I was forced to act as inter- preter. **Then,” said I, “as you don’t know of what the sahib is guilty or even the name of his accuser, you must release him.” ** I cannot, sahib. I must take him to the police- station.” Another Indian constable now came on the scene. I explained matters to him and insisted on his entering the garden and fetching out the com- plainant. He went in, and in a few minutes returned with the Portuguese hastily clad. He was in a very bad temper at being again disturbed ; for, thinking that he had comfortably disposed of us for the night, he had calmly gone to bed. We all now proceeded to a small police-station about a mile away, passing the hotel on the road. Furious at the unjust arrest and irritated at the coolness of the complainant and the stupidity of the sepoy, my friend and I were anxious to see some superior authority. We never doubted that a prompt release and apology, as well as a reprimand to the over-zealous constable, would immediately follow. British subjects were not to be treated in this high- handed fashion ! Arrived at the station, we found only a Portuguese constable, with a Chinese policeman lying asleep on a guard-bed in the corner. The accuser now came forward and charged my companion with ** throwing stones at a dwelling-house,” as the Indians informed me. Using them to interpret, I endeavoured to explain the affair to the Portuguese constable. He simply shrugged his shoulders, wrote down the charge, and said that the prisoner must be taken to the Head Police Office for the night. He added that, there being no charge against me, I was not concerned in the matter, and could go home. However, as my unfortunate friend required me as interpreter, I had no intention of abandoning him, and accompanied him when he was marched off to durance vile. The Portuguese policeman at first wished to send him under the charge of the Chinese constable, whom he woke up for the pur- pose ; but we explained that if such an indignity were offered us we would certainly refuse to go quietly with the Chinaman and might damage him on the way. He then allowed the Indian sepoys, who were very civil, to escort us. My luckless companion was then solemnly marched through the town until the Head Police Office was reached, over two miles away. It was a rambling structure in the heart of the city, with ancient buildings and tree-shaded courts. Down long corridors and across a grass-grown yard we were led into a large office. A half-open door in a partition on the left bore the inscription, ** Quarto del Sargento.” On the right, behind a large screen, a number of Portuguese policemen lay asleep on beds. The sepoys roused a sergeant, who sat up grumbling and surveyed us with little friendliness. The scene was rather amusing. My friend and I in correct evening dress, as haughtily indignant as Britishers should be under such circumstances, the Indian sepoys standing erect behind us, the surly complainant, whom the light of the office lamps revealed to be a very shoddy and common individual, the half-awakened police- men gazing sleepily at us from their beds, would have made a capital tableau in a comedy. The sergeant rose and put on his uniform. Seating himself at a table in the office he read the charge. Without further ado he ordered a bed to be brought down and placed for the prisoner in the empty ‘* Quarto del Sargento.” He then rose from the table and prepared to retire. I stopped him and demanded that our explanation should be listened to. I told him, through the interpreters, that if the ridiculous charge against my friend was to be pro- ceeded with, he could be found at the hotel. There was no necessity for confining him for the night, as he could not leave Macao without the knowledge of the authorities. The sergeant curtly replied that as there was no complaint against me I had better quit the police-station as soon as possible. If I wished to give evidence for my friend, I could attend at the magistrate’s court in the morning and do so. I informed him that I was an officer in the British Army, and demanded to see a Portu- guese officer. He replied that he was a sergeant, and quite officer enough for me. His manner throughout was excessively overbearing and offen- sive. I then threatened to appeal to the British Consul. I am afraid that this only amused the Portuguese policemen, who had left their beds to come into the office and listen to the affair. They laughed amusedly; and the sergeant, smiling grimly, bade the interpreting sepoy tell me that he did not care a snap of his fingers for our Consul. I then played my trump card. I demanded that a message should be immediately conveyed to the aide-de- camp of the Governor, to the effect that one of his English friends with whom he had dined the previous night had been arrested. The effect was electrical. As soon as my speech had been trans- lated to them, all the Portuguese policemen became at once extremely civil. The sergeant rushed to a telephone and rang up the police officer on duty. I caught the words “ufficiales Inglesos” and *’amigos del Senhor Carvalhaes.” After a long conversation over the wire he returned smiling civilly, saluted, and said that my companion could leave the station at once. Would he have the supreme kindness to attend at the magistrate’s court at ten o’clock in the morning ? If he did not know where it was, a constable would be sent to the hotel to guide him. We marched out with the honours of war. With profuse courtesy we were escorted out of the police- station, a sentry shouldering arms to us as we passed; and the sergeant accompanied us to the outer gate, where he parted from us with an elaborate salute. We reached the hotel about 3.30 a.m. Before nine o’clock I presented myself at the palace, where I interviewed Senhor Carvalhaes and recounted the whole affair to him. He was indignant at the conduct of the police. He told me that we need not attend the court, as he would settle the matter himself Later on my friend and I saw the British Consul, whom we knew personally, and told him all that had happened. He said that he could not have helped us in the least had we appealed to him. Some time previous an English colonel, in company with several ladies, had been arrested by the police for not removing his hat when a religious procession passed. As this officer happened to be a Roman Catholic, his action was not meant to be disrespectful. He was not released until the British Consul had interviewed the Governor. By a curious coincidence I met this colonel some months later in Seoul, the capital of Corea. That afternoon Grant- Smith and I were invited to the Portuguese Naval Tennis Club ground near Flora, the Governor’s summer residence. Carvalhaes, who was present, came to me and told me that the affair was setded. The trumpery charge had been dismissed; and the Indian con- stable who had arrested Grant-Smith had been punished with six weeks’ imprisonment. As the unfortunate sepoy had only done what he con- sidered his duty and had been very civil throughout, as well as helping me considerably by interpreting, I begged that the punishment should be transferred from him to the discourteous Portuguese sergeant On my representations the Indian was released; but I doubt if the man of the dominant caste received even a reprimand. Our adventure was now common property. We were freely chaffed about the arrest by the Portu- guese officers and the British residents present at the Tennis Club. The wife of the Governor laugh- ingly bade one of the English ladies bring up the ** prisoner ” and present him to her. When one reflects that this quaint and old-world little Portuguese colony is only forty miles from Hong Kong with its large garrison, our treatment by its insolent subordinate officials does not say much for the respect for England’s might which we imagine is felt throughout the world. I had another experience of an arrest in Japan. The spy mania is rife in that country; and no photo- graphing is permitted in the fortified seaports or in large tracts of country ‘* reserved for military pur- poses.” In the important naval station of Yuko- suka, an hour s journey by train from Yokohama, an American gentleman and I were taken into custody by a policeman for merely carrying a camera which, knowing the regulations, we had been careful not to use. We found afterwards that our ricksha coolies had given information. I was fortunately able to speak Japanese sufficiently well to explain to our captor that we had no intention of taking surreptitious photographs of the warships in the harbour. I pointed out that as most of these vessels had been built in England it was hardly necessary for a Britisher to come to Japan to get information about them. Our little policeman — with the ready capacity of his countrymen for see- ing the feeblest joke — was immensely tickled. He laughed heartily and released us. But shortly after- wards an Italian officer, on his way to attend the Japanese military manoeuvres, innocently took some photographs of the scenery near Shimoneseki. He was promptly arrested and subsequently fined forty yen {jC4) for the offence. A few days later an Englishman at Moji was taken into custody for the same crime. Moral : do not carry a camera in Japan ; content yourself with the excellent and cheap photographs to be obtained everywhere in that country of delightful scenery. To return to Macao. Its greatly advertised attraction is the famous Chinese gambling-houses, from the taxes on which is derived a large portion of the revenues of the colony. Most visitors go to see them and stake a dollar or two on the fan-tan tables. I did likewise and was disappointed to find the famed saloons merely small Chinese houses, the interiors glittering with tawdry gilt wood carving and blazing at night with evil-smelling oil lamps. On the ground floor stands a large table, at the head of which sits the croupier^ generally a very bored-looking old Chinaman. Along the sides are the players, who occasionally lose the phlegmatic calm of their race in their excitement On the ** board” squares are described, numbered i, 2, 3, and 4. On them the money is staked. The croupier places a handful of ”cash/’ which are small coins, on the table and covers them with an inverted bowl. The number of them is not counted, as he takes them at random from a pile beside him. As soon as all the stakes are laid down, he lifts the bowl and with a chopstick counts the coins in fours. The number left at the end, which must be one, two, three, or four, represents the winning niunber. The bank pays three times the stake deposited, less ten per cent., which is kept as its own share of the winnings. In a gallery overhead sit European visitors and more important Chinamen who do not wish to mix with the common herd around the table. Their stakes are collected by an attendant who lowers them in a bag at the end of a long string, and the croupier places them where desired. Fan- tan is not exciting. The counting of the coins is tedious and the calculations of the amounts to be paid out to the winners takes so long that the game becomes exceedingly wearisome. Other attractions of Macao are the ruins of the old cathedral of San Paulo, built in 1602 and de- stroyed by fire in 1835, of which the facade still remains in good preservation ; and the Gardens of Camoens, with a bust of the famous Portuguese poet placed in a picturesque grotto formed by a group of huge boulders. Camoens visited Macao, after voyaging to Goa and the East by way of the Cape of Good Hope. In the basements of some of the older houses in Macao are the Barracoons, relics of the coolie traffic suppressed in 1874. They are large chambers where the coolies, to be shipped as labourers to foreign parts, were lodged while awaiting exporta- tion. Among other points of interest near the city is the curious natural phenomenon known as the Ringing Rocks. They are reached by boat to Lappa. They consist of a number of huge granite boulders, supposed to be of some metallic forma- tion, picturesquely grouped together, which, when struck, give out a clear bell-like note, which dies away in gradually fainter vibrations. Altogether Macao is well worthy of a visit. The contrast between the sleepy old-world city, which looks like a town in Southern Europe, and bustling, thriving Hong Kong, all that is modern and business-like, is very striking. For the moneymaker the English colony ; for the dreamer Macao.

Em Dezembro de 2007, foi feita ao AHU pelo Senhor José Luís Vieira de Castro Teixeira, doação de documentação do espólio de seu pai, capitão-de-mar-e-guerra Gabriel Maurício Teixeira, que foi Governador de Macau entre 1940 e 1946 e governador-geral de Moçambique entre 1946 e 1958.
O espólio é constituído, essencialmente, por álbuns fotográficos, pastas de correspondência, relatórios, mensagens e impressos da Junta de Investigações do Ultramar, como se pode ver na relação provisória adiante transcrita.
Documentos relativos a Macau:
1. Álbum fotográfico das documentações dos centenários da fundação e restauração de Portugal em Macau.
2. Mensagem ao governador de Macau Gabriel Teixeira pelos membros da Comunidade Asiático-Britânica em 1945.
3. Homenagem da Comunidade Francesa de Macau.
4. Mensagem da Comunidade Asiático-Britânica em 1944.
5. Mensagem da Comunidade Indiana ao Governador de Macau Comandante Gabriel Teixeira.
6. Mensagem da Comunidade Irlandesa em Macau.
7. Mensagem da Comunidade Holandesa ao Governador de Macau.
8. Mensagem da Comunidade Filipina ao Governador de Macau.
9. Carta da Associação Confuciana de Macau.
10. Mensagem da Comunidade Portuguesa de Hong Kong refugiada em Macau.
11. Mensagem da Comunidade Britânica de Macau.
12. Mensagem da Comunidade Russa refugiada em Macau.
13. Pasta contendo diversos documentos “cartas, relatórios, etc.…” relativos ao período em que o Comandante Gabriel Teixeira foi Governador de Macau.
14. Álbum relativo às comemorações do centenário da fundação e restauração de Portugal em 1940
A História daqueles que partiram
Um historiador português está a fazer um trabalho de investigação sobre o primeiro grande movimento migratório da comunidade macaense. É uma viagem aos meados do século XIX e a Xangai, numa tentativa de perceber as características da comunidade que lá se instalou e das repercussões para a terra de onde partiu.
É uma abordagem da História em que o povo adquire mais importância do que os habituais protagonistas políticos. Mais do que relatos de vitórias e conquistas, são as estórias das pessoas que interessam a Alfredo Gomes Dias, historiador português que se dedica ao estudo de Macau há mais de duas décadas. Depois de uma série de estudos e livros publicados sobre diferentes temas, o investigador está agora no encalço dos movimentos migratórios dos meados do séc. XIX, aqueles que deram origem à diáspora macaense.“Estou a estudar a primeira fase da diáspora, que corresponde à saída para as regiões mais próximas: Hong Kong e Xangai”, explicou Gomes Dias ao PONTO FINAL.
A abordagem é feita nas perspectivas demográfica e social. Embora inclua o movimento migratório para a antiga colónia britânica, o estudo (feito para a tese de doutoramento) analisa detalhadamente a comunidade de Xangai, desde que foi fundada, nos finais de 1840, até à seu término, que aconteceu com a proclamação da República Popular da China, em 1949. Sobre a metodologia do trabalho, Alfredo Gomes Dias explica que tem “acesso quantitativo às pessoas que emigraram, através dos registos dos consulados”. É a partir destes dados que está “a tentar reconstruir o fluxo migratório, complementado com outras fontes no que toca à descrição das cidades e dos seus recenseamentos”.
A tese vai ainda incluir uma análise sobre o impacto que a emigração teve na própria sociedade macaense. “Há fenómenos sociais que ocorreram em Macau na segunda metade do século XIX que têm origem no fenómeno migratório e que, até agora, nunca foram abordados nessa perspectiva”, defende.
A diáspora macaense em Xangai enquanto tema da tese surgiu “um pouco por acaso”, conta. “Inicialmente, a ideia era fazer um estudo centrado no porto de Macau. Comecei a fazer alguma investigação no Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (MNE), associada às questões da cidade e da demografia”. Durante esta pesquisa, encontrou os livros de registo do consulado de Xangai, “material abundante” sobre a diáspora. E assim decidiu pelo caminho do estudo das emigrações. Gomes Dias espera ter o trabalho concluído até ao final deste ano. “Estou a terminar a investigação empírica, o levantamento dos dados. A partir de Novembro e complementando com mais algumas leituras, estarei apto para começar a escrever a tese”, explicou, de passagem por Macau.
O trabalho, que está a ser feito no departamento de Geografia da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, surge na sequência daquela que tem vindo a ser, nos últimos anos, a abordagem do académico: a História Social, a “História das pessoas”. “Esta minha aproximação ao movimento migratório e à diáspora é uma forma de tentar fazer uma História mais aproximada do povo, que muitas vezes é esquecido”, enquadra. Sobre a disparidade dos factos históricos locais consoante as fontes, o investigador minimiza o problema. “A história tem um lado subjectivo que depende sempre de quem a escreve, quer seja português, chinês ou francês. O que se passa com Macau não é diferente.” A grande dificuldade dos historiadores ocidentais prende-se com o acesso às fontes chinesas, mas até mesmo neste aspecto o cenário tem vindo a melhorar. “Temos cada vez mais acesso a textos escritos por autores chineses, que têm a sua versão, e que nos permite ir aproximando as nossas versões daquilo que é o olhar chinês.”
in jornal Ponto Final de 13.10.2008 – artigo da autoria de Isabel Castro

Foto do álbum de Maria Augusta de Gascia e Figueiredo, de Shanghai, lembrando os tempos passados em Shanghai/China nos anos 30. Photos from her album remember the old days passed in Shanghai/China in the 30’s. Divulgação/published by Projecto Memória Macaense http://www.memoriamacaense.org

Livro de Alfredo Gomes Dias editado pelo Instituto Português do Oriente em 1998.
Professor da Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa, Alfredo Gomes Dias estudou História na Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa.
O interesse por Macau surgiu em 1986, época em que o território “estava muito presente nos jornais, por causa do processo das negociações que levaram ao acordo sobre a transferência”. As notícias foram ao encontro da curiosidade que o historiador já tinha sobre Macau. E foi assim que deixou África enquanto tema de investigação e passou a olhar para o Oriente. O primeiro estudo foi dedicado à Guerra do Ópio. “Desde então nunca mais deixei Macau, apenas fui saltando de temas e de estudos.”

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